At the beginning of each season I set goals for myself. I have a tendency to set super easy goals that I know I can achieve. For example, last year my goals for Cross Country were to contribute to the team and stay healthy. This year I’ve decided to step my game up – I came up with challenging goals that will really test my abilities. During different stages of my life I’ve had different strategies for attacking the season (and sometimes no strategy at all) – some were less aggressive because of injury or other set backs, while others were more challenging. I’m not going to lie though, usually my goals are to set new PR’s, so in that sense my goals haven’t really changed. However, this time around I won’t just be happy with a PR – I want BIG PR’s in every event! Below I’ve listed my goals along with the little things I need to reach them.

  • Qualify for USATF Outdoor Championships [A standard is 15:50.0, B standard is 15:55.0]
  • PR in every event on the track from the 800 to the 5k…
    • 800 – 2:10 [2:14 2007]
    • 1500 – 4:18 [4:27 2007; 4:28 2010]
    • 3k – 9:10 [9:31 2010]
    • 5k – 15:55 [17:28 2006; 16:25 shape in 2010 but never proved that because I got a stress fracture]
  • Be competitive on the road scene & Cross Country
    • 5k Phoenix New Times – 16:40
    • 6k Club Cross Country – top 5, 20:20 [20:28 2009]
    • 8k USA XC – top 15, 27:20
    • Win some money!


  • Gain strength
  • Increase mechanical efficiency
  • Get good sleep quality and quantity
  • Eat nutritious, healthy foods for optimal recovery – 50% carbs, 25% fat, 25% protein.
  • Work towards and maintain a healthy weight and body fat percentage for optimal performance
  • Stay open-minded to new training ideas
  • Listen to Ryan and John – they have my best interest in mind and will never do anything to purposely hurt me – both of them only want me to get better and run to the best of my abilities
  • Listen to my body
  • See John Ball weekly
  • Foam roll at least 4 times a week
  • Be positive and realistic – i have to take little steps before I can make big jumps
  • Find a good sports psychologist and go see him/her
  • Massage my legs at least once a week
  • Be competitive in every race – Race to win, don’t just be happy to be there

I’m a firm believer in setting goals, writing them down, posting them on sticky notes all over your house and telling your teammates, friends, family, coach, sports psychologist, and anyone else who will hold you accountable. I have found that when I don’t set goals I take each day like a workout, which inevitably leaves me injured and unhappy. Ultimately, for me, it comes down to getting caught up in short term gains and losing sight of the big picture. On the other hand, when I do set goals, even if they are minimal, I tend to look at each day as a step in a journey and am careful not to take a step or two backwards.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

One thought on “Goals

  1. i just read all your posts in one fell swoop – I love your writing. So methodical, and you explain the races in such detail. It's also fun to see your progression over the last few months. Best of luck with making as a pro (whatever the definition). I'm in college right now, but that's my dream too and it's awesome to hear from someone a couple years down the road…

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